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Agasthyar, a famous Tamil/Vedic Siddhar
Pambatti Siddhar Sannidhi at Marudamalai Temple

Siddhars (Tamil: சித்தர், 'Chitthar', a variant English spelling) are saints in India, mostly of the Saivaite denomination in Tamil Nadu, who professed and practised an unorthodox type of Sadhana, or spiritual practice, to attain liberation. Yogic powers called Siddhis are acquired by constant practice of certain yogic disciplines. These sidhars can be compared to mystics in western civilization.

Historically, Siddhar also refers to the people who were early age wandering adepts that dominated ancient Tamil teaching and philosophy. They were knowledgeable in Science, Technology, Astronomy, Literature, Fine Arts, Music, Drama, Dance, and provided solutions to common people in their illness and advice for their future.[1] Some of their ideologies are considered to have originated more than 10,000 years ago during the First Cankam period.[2][3][4]

Practice[edit]

Siddhars are people who are believed to control and transcend the barriers of time and space by meditation (Yoga), the use of substances called Rasayanas that transform the body to make it potentially deathless, and a particular type of Pranayama (breathing-practice). Through their practices they are believed to have reached stages of insight which enabled them to tune into the powers hidden in various material substances and practices.

Typically Siddhars were saints, doctors, alchemists and mystics all at once. They wrote their findings in the form of poems in the Tamil language, on palm leaves which are collected and stored in what are known as the "Palm leaf manuscripts". These are still owned by some families in Tamil Nadu and handed down through the generations, as well as being kept in public institutions such as universities in India, Germany, Great Britain and the United States.[5]

In this way Siddhars developed, among other branches of a vast knowledge-system, what is now known as Siddha medicine, practised mainly in Tamil Nadu as a type of traditional native medicine. A rustic form of healing that is similar to Siddha medicine has since been practised by experienced elders in the villages of Tamil Nadu. (This has sometimes been confused with Paatti Vaitthiyam" and "Naattu marunthu (forms of traditional Tamil medicine) and Mooligai marutthuvam (Ayurvedic medicine)).

Siddhars are also believed to be the founders of Varmam - a martial art for self-defence and medical treatment at the same time. Varmam are specific points located in the human body which when pressed in different ways can give various results, such as disabling an attacker in self-defence, or balancing a physical condition as an easy first-aid medical treatment.

Tamil Siddhars were the first to develop pulse-reading ("naadi paarththal" in Tamil) to identify the origin of diseases. This method was later copied and used in Ayurveda.[6]

Siddhars have also written many religious poems. It is believed that most of them have lived for ages, in a mystic mountain called Sathuragiri, near Thanipparai village in Tamil Nadu.

Some Siddhars[edit]

The Abithana Chintamani encyclopedia states that the Siddhars are either of the 9 or 18 persons listed below, but sage Agastyar states that there are many who precede and follow these. Many of the great Siddhars are regarded to have powers magical and spiritual.[citation needed]

The 9 Siddhars[edit]

The 9 listed in "Abithana Chintamani" are as follows:

  1. Sathyanathar
  2. Sathoganathar
  3. Aadhinathar
  4. Anadhinathar
  5. Vegulinathar
  6. Madhanganathar
  7. Machaendranathar
  8. Gadaendranathar or Gajendranathar
  9. Korakkanathar

The 18 Siddhars[edit]

Karuvoorar.

There are 18 siddhars in the Tamil Siddha tradition. They are[7][8]

  1. Thiru Patanjali Siddhar
  2. Thiru Agastya Siddhar
  3. Thiru Kamalamuni Siddhar
  4. Thiru Thirumoolar Siddhar
  5. Thiru Kuthambai Siddhar
  6. Thiru Korakkar Siddhar
  7. Thiru Thanvandri Siddhar
  8. Thiru Konganar Siddhar
  9. Thiru Sattamuni Siddhar
  10. Thiru Vanmeegar Siddhar
  11. Thiru Ramadevar Siddhar
  12. Thiru Nandeeswarar (Nandidevar) Siddhar
  13. Thiru Edaikkadar Siddhar
  14. Thiru Machamuni Siddhar
  15. Thiru Karuvoorar Siddhar
  16. Thiru Bogar Siddhar
  17. Thiru Pambatti Siddhar
  18. Thiru Sundarandandar

All Siddhars were among the highest disciples of Shiva, and are considered equal in their powers and devotion to the supreme God.[citation needed]

Powers of siddhars[edit]

The siddhars are believed to have had both major and minor powers which are described in detail in various yogic and religious texts.[9] They also are said to have the power of converting their mass to energy and thereby travelling to different universes.

  1. Anima (shrinking) -- Power of becoming the size of an atom and entering the smallest beings
  2. Mahima (illimitability) -- Power of becoming mighty and co-extensive with the universe. The power of increasing one's size without limit
  3. Lagima (lightness) -- Capacity to be quite light though big in size
  4. Garima (weight) -- Capacity to weigh a lot, though seemingly being small in size
  5. Prapthi (fulfillment of desires) -- Capacity to enter all the worlds from Brahma Loga to the nether world. It is the power of attaining everything desired
  6. Prakasysm (irresistible will) -- Power of disembodying and entering into other bodies (metempsychosis) and going to heaven and enjoying what everyone aspires for, simply from where he stays
  7. Isithavam (supremacy) -- Have the creative power of God and control over the Sun, Moon and the elements
  8. Vasithavam (dominion over the elements) -- Power of control over kings and gods. The power of changing the course of nature and assuming any form

These eight are the Great Siddhis (Ashtama siddhis), or Great Perfections.[10]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Meditation Revolution: A History and Theology of the Siddha Yoga Lineage. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 2000. ISBN 9788120816480. 
  2. ^ S. Cunjithapatham, M. Arunachalam (1989). Musical tradition of Tamilnadu. International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilizations. p. 11. 
  3. ^ Journal of Indian history, Volume 38. Dept. of History, University of Kerala. 1960. 
  4. ^ Weiss, Richard (2009). Recipes for Immortality : Healing, Religion, and Community in South India: Healing, Religion, and Community in South India. Oxford University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780199715008. 
  5. ^ V. Jayaram. "Study of siddhas". Hinduwebsite.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  6. ^ Dr. J. Raamachandran, Herbs of Siddha Mediicines/The First 3D book, pp.iii
  7. ^ "18 siddhars". Palanitemples.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  8. ^ "Siddhars". Sathuragiri.org. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  9. ^ Thirumandiram 668
  10. ^ "Ashtama Siddhis". Siddhars.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 

External links[edit]


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Business Recorder

NDTV
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 20:21:23 -0700

Annamalai Annamalai (49), also known as Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar, was in August last convicted for bank and tax frauds following a two-week jury trial. He was also convicted of bankruptcy fraud offences in connection with the Hindu Temple's petition ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 17:07:07 -0700

Theraiyar Siddhar had advocated 32 different external therapies and procedures, which were explained to the visitors at the exhibition. The Siddha doctors attached to Ayushcare Siddha Centre provided free massage treatment for pain and swelling to the ...

Patch.com

Patch.com
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 10:09:13 -0700

Annamalai Annamalai, also known as Dr. Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to 27 years, 3 months in prison following his August conviction on 34 felony counts, including bank fraud, ...

newsindiatimes.com

newsindiatimes.com
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:37:30 -0700

A former leader of the now defunct Hindu Temple of Georgia was sentenced last week to nearly three decades in prison. Annamalai Annamalai – also known as both Dr. Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar – was convicted in August on ...
 
Marietta Daily Journal
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:31:37 -0700

He also was convicted for sending a false email to an IRS agent and submitting false statements to a grand jury and a bankruptcy court. Annamalai is also known as Dr. Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar. Copyright 2015 The Associated ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:15:00 -0700

COIMBATORE: It's business as usual at the handicrafts shop on Cross Cut Road, Gandhipuram, once owned by self-styled godman Annamalai, aka Sri Sri Selvam Siddhar, who was sentenced to 27 years in prison by a court in the US State of Georgia on ...
 
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Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:24:47 -0700

Speaking at the World Health Day celebrations conducted as part of World Siddhar Day festival organised jointly by the Tamil Nadu Parambariya Siddha Vaidhya Maha Sangam and Sri Putru Maharishi Social Medical Service Centre here recently, Dr.

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Tue, 14 Apr 2015 19:48:45 -0700

Annamalai Annamalai, also known as Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar, a former leader of a now defunct Hindu temple in Georgia, has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for committing bank and tax frauds, money laundering and using the temple's income to ...
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